After the Pro Tour, I've found the metagame of this Limited format has somewhat exploded. I am playing against five-color green well over 50% of the time, and many of these aren't the good versions. It appears that people are forcing the sweet deck, and their mana or payoff isn't always there. This rewards the aggro decks, and hence I have had a ton of success with decks that optimize for speed.
Today we start off with a rare that does lead me away from an aggro deck, but it's not off the table.
Pack 1, Pick 2
The Picks So Far:
Chandra's Defeat is an A+ sideboard card. I take the Mardu Defeats highly, but not really this highly. Even though I first-picked a red rare, I am not necessarily red, and taking a red sideboard card doesn't really make sense under those circumstances. While having Hour of Devastation does give additional stock to red cards, it doesn't lead to Chandra's Defeat this early on in the draft.
Rhonas's Stalwart is the best card in the pack, and I wouldn't fault you for taking it here. Two-drops are extremely premium in this format. I don't think it's necessary to talk about how great this card is. It's just a great two-drop, but I'm not taking it here.
If you haven't heard yet, you really need to prioritize Deserts. Every single deck is substantially better and more consistent if it has three Deserts. I take them highly and so should you. While Desert of the Fervent isn't a better card than Rhonas's Stalwart, given that I'm starting off with a red rare, it's what I'm going to take here.
Pack 1, Pick 6
The Picks So Far:
Solidly in red, and likely U/R is where I'm hoping to be. Firebrand Archer and Imminent Doom are cards that are very good in U/R, but not so much elsewhere. Obviously I'm not locked in, but it's pretty close to being so.
I've heard a lot of controversy around the card Imminent Doom, so I want to clear that up. It's an interesting card, because if you don't cast a one-drop, it's terrible, but once you do, it can really take over a game. The reason it has such a great home in U/R is because of Unsummon. The ability to cast Unsummon on a two- or three-drop creature in order to keep the chain going is very powerful.
Oasis Ritualist at this point is a signal. If my cards were just solid red cards, I would probably take this here, but the cards that I have are much better in U/R than they are in R/G. While I do like Oasis Ritualist, I don't like taking it here.
Blur of Blades has impressed me. There are a lot of random one-toughness creatures, and the incidental damage is more relevant than you would initially think. It's a solid red common. I almost always play the first copy, and will play three or four in some versions of tempo or aggressive decks. But Deserts are just too good to pass up.
So the pick is still Desert of the Fervent. There are plenty of Deserts-matter cards, and it will always make my deck and increase consistency. That is worth so much more than you may give credit for. I'm quite happy to take another Desert here, hoping this Crash Through comes back as an additional one-drop for the Imminent Doom (spoiler: it did!).